Here at the San Juan Island Family Resource Center (SJIFRC), our mission is to assist people in our community to achieve their highest potential by providing access to essential resources and programs that promote health, well-being and stability. We’re fortunate to have a warm, inviting building, gracious clients from all walks of life and an experienced, involved board of directors. SJIFRC also has a quiet partner right down the street that many people might not realize: the San Juan Island Community Foundation.
I’m guessing that most people in our community associate the SJI Community Foundation with the notable financial support it provides for so many critical services and organizations in Friday Harbor. From my perspective here at the SJIFRC, I can attest to the foundation’s generosity. In the past year alone, SJI Community Foundation has provided the bulk of funding needed for our center’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program, Island Neighbors Program, Young Adult Life Skills Classes and annual Kindergarten Kickoff event. These programs reach over 350 islanders of different ages, socioeconomic levels, cultures and educational backgrounds each year.
Here’s what many people might not realize: SJI Community Foundation’s funding is just one piece of what they give to non-profit organizations on San Juan Island. Equally as important, the foundation’s staff and board of directors share their time and expertise every day. They sit down with each potential grantee to thoroughly discuss proposed projects, explore potential community partnerships and develop realistic sustainability plans. They create public forums for our community to come together and cooperatively identify critical needs. They provide scholarships to local high school graduates. And they create unique “island” opportunities – like their San Juan County Fair Matching Grant Program – for local organizations to spread the word about the good work they do and build relationships with supporters. All of these efforts strengthen how our local non-profits function, and help to ensure that the positive impacts of any grant that the SJI Community Foundation gives are still felt years later throughout our entire community.
Director, San Juan Island Family Resource Center